LG Chem to Build $3 Billion Battery Cathode Factory in Tennessee

The Inflation Reduction Act continues to spur new investment in America, as it was intended to do. LG Chem announced this week that it will build a new $3 billion cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. When completed, it will be the largest such plant in the United States.

The Clarksville facility will cover 420 acres and is expected to produce 120,000 tons of cathode material per year when it reaches full production in 2027. That’s enough to power 1.2 million electric vehicles with batteries large enough for a range of 300 miles or more.

Construction of the plant will begin in the first quarter of 2023, with mass production expected to start in the second half of 2025. The Tennessee site will play a key role in LG Chem’s strategy to grow its battery materials business, including cathode materials, by a factor of four.

After reviewing possible locations for the new plant, LG Chem determined that Tennessee was the best choice due to its proximity to major customers and ease of transportation of raw materials. The active cooperation of state and local governments also contributed to the decision.

The company said in a press release sent to Clean Technica that the Tennessee facility allows LG Chem to proactively respond to the changing dynamics of the global battery materials market in accordance with legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act.

In addition to the benefits realized by investing in manufacturing on US soil, LG Chem envisions the Tennessee site to be the supply chain hub where materials and recycling partners work together to supply global customers, including including General Motors and Tesla. The company has already chosen Li-Cycle as a battery recycling partner.

The new facility will produce advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-generation EV batteries with improved battery capacity and stability. The company says NCMA cathode materials are among the most critical ingredients in determining the capacity and lifespan of electric vehicle batteries.

The Tennessee facility will feature LG Chem’s most advanced production technology, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, the highest throughput in the industry. LG Chem first applied this technology at its fourth cathode manufacturing site in Cheongju, South Korea, with great success.

The company also plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee to automate the entire production process and establish an analysis and quality control system that will be the benchmark for all other cathode factories. in the world.

The new facility will be designed with consideration for the environment and future clean energy needs. LG Chem will work with Tennessee electricity providers to meet customer demands, including battery and electric vehicle manufacturers, for more renewable energy sources. Operation of the new facility will rely entirely on renewable energy provided by solar and hydroelectric power.

“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unparalleled business climate, skilled workforce and leadership position in the automotive industry,” Governor said. of Tennessee, Bill Lee. “I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide opportunities for Tennesseans across Montgomery County.”

“The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us closer to becoming the world’s best battery materials manufacturer and realizing our corporate vision of becoming a leading global science-based company,” said LG Chem CEO. . ‚ÄúThis site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and will lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs, contributing to the local Clarksville economy.

The Inflation Reduction Act is working

The Biden Bunch wanted to boost American manufacturing in the electric vehicle sector, and the Cut Inflation Act makes that possible. Some criticize me that NCMA batteries may not be the direction in which the industry is heading, as more and more manufacturers are specifying more and more LFP batteries. But if LG Chem, the world’s second-largest battery maker, is investing $3 billion to build this factory, it’s probably done its homework.

The good news is that the jobs needed to make the electric vehicle revolution relevant for American workers are beginning to appear. Once communities are invested in the transition to electric transport, some of the FUD around electric vehicles should start to fade away. It’s hard to denigrate an industry that puts food on your table.

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